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January, 2010 Volume 35, Issue 1



(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) -
P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924
mailto:[email protected]

   Brand New Bottle: Same Old Wine
By Frank Scott
We begin 2010 with a national debt over twelve trillion dollars and rising. That's roughly 40 thousand dollars per taxpayer. Should we continue financing the phony war on terror, which began in Afghanistan, moved to Iraq, returned to Afghanistan, is spreading to Pakistan and has lasted longer than World War Two? Or should we end the real terror war on taxpayers in the USA? Guess which costs us more:  murdering innocent people and maintaining puppet regimes in foreign countries, or helping citizens find jobs, housing, health care and education at home? Political lies and bigotry can tell us that immigrants, the poor and hypochondriacs are sinking us into deeper debt, but they can also tell us the moon is made of green cheese and the Democratic and Republican parties represent the interests of all Americans. Yeah, right.
    It's time we face the reality of a crumbling empire that still seems to provide freedom and opportunity, but only for a shrinking minority. And the deadly burden of support falls on a majority in a world growing more politically treacherous, economically desperate and ecologically dangerous. Each day we expect change to result from rhetorical reform offered by the ruling minority's hired help makes it more difficult to create the radical transformation we need to help save our nation and our world.
    Anyone who still thinks the new hybrid presidential brand represents difference in anything more than style suffers from wishful thinking disorder. Some are shaking the cobwebs out of their heads and organizing to force him to do what they voted for, rather than expect him to voluntarily disobey his owners. Obama did not miraculously come to us from the heavens; he was selected, shaped and packaged to be sold as a new brand label at a time when the system could no longer continue under the old brand name. But his job description is that of the previous CEO: represent corporate capital, Wall Street and Israel first, and the rest of us - if at all - second.
    Those still in denial need to face the death, destruction and debt that not only continue but get worse under this new regime. What are sold to us as great speeches are merely rhetorical stunts to dull our senses to the continuity with the last regime's policies. Denial is difficult to shake given our near total control by corporate media performing as stenographer for minority power and sleeping pill for its majority subjects. But there are more alternative outlets for news, analysis and ideas than ever before that need to be used and strengthened. And they are not only on the Internet.
    Small struggling print journals - like The Coastal Post - need the support of those who are interested in social change and concerned about the free flow of ideas. The Post is not only under ordinary American economic pressures but is extraordinarily threatened by anti-American thought police working to destroy its advertising and subscriber base. It is one among many voices that are vitally needed at a time when expressions of free thought and criticism are most essential. But whatever our political, religious or social leanings may be, we need to ultimately act as one; the great majority who face lethal problems that need common solutions.
    Expanded warfare in the middle east, threatened military hostilities in Latin America and increased disrespect shown by developed world leaders for the rest of humanity are a call for supporters of peace and social justice to confront the root causes of war and ecological destruction before it is too late.
   Long before he took office this president made it clear he would protect corporate capital's global domination and maintain its major branch office in Israel. His induced perception as being unique - only half white instead of all white - played a major role in making him seem different. But people with high hopes have had them crushed so often in the past that this latest disappointment will hopefully be the last lesson they need. No matter what rhetorical pomp and circumstance are offered, no matter what ethnicity, race, sex or sexuality is claimed by a candidate, its financial backing and ownership are far more important. The party of individual wealth, corporate capital and Israel remains in charge, with minor stylistic adjustments that make no difference at all to foreigners being intimidated, embargoed and invaded, or Americans left homeless, jobless and in debt.
    Anti-social-ism remains persuasive among people trained to worship individual responsibility and show contempt for any action in the name of society other than war. This will continue as long as we accept calling our minority ruled nation a democracy and allow ourselves to be identified as national subcategories of humanity rather than international subjects of economic stratification. Global class divisions should be obvious when we see which countries invade and which are invaded and how mass over-consumption for some leads directly to increased debt, poverty and environmental jeopardy for all. But as indicated at Copenhagen, whether colonized natives, oppressed peasants or exploited workers, the previously submissive are demanding change and beginning to organize as one people to achieve it.
    When we lack clean water, are sickened by chemicals, endure warfare, drought or hurricanes, it is humanity which suffers not simply nations or ethnic groups. 2010 will hopefully bring us closer to acting as a universal people of common racial origin who acknowledge the need for global solutions to our problems. Those will get worse the longer they are trivialized as conflict between mythological good and evil, ego centered individual concerns or special identity group dilemmas. All of us or none of us? Indeed. Happy New Year? Let's make it so.
Copyright (c) 2009 by Frank Scott. All rights reserved.

    Frank Scott writes political commentary which appears in print in the Coastal Post and The Independent Monitor and online at the blog Legalienate




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